Nov 7, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL teams preparing for their training camps and the 2022 season, the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers both have shaky quarterback situations. While acquiring Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns is a possibility for both teams, the Seahawks, Panthers and Browns are playing a waiting game.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that the three teams are “stuck in a holding pattern” with money being the primary holdup.

NFL fans had a variety of reactions to the report.

Of the two teams, Carolina seems to be the more likely — or at least, sensible — destination.

Mayfield would be an upgrade on Geno Smith and Drew Lock, who are presently battling it out for Seattle’s No. 1 job. But would he be enough of an upgrade for the Seahawks, who were 7-10 with Russell Wilson as the primary starter in 2021 (going 6-8 in his starts) to be contenders in what figures to be one of the NFL’s best divisions? Additionally, Pete Carroll has enough equity in Seattle to ride out a bad season and get into the C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young sweepstakes in the 2023 Draft.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have gone 5-11 and 5-12 in Matt Rhule’s two seasons as head coach. He doesn’t have the slack that Carroll has in Seattle.  Furthermore, Carolina’s general manager, Scott Fitterer, was not there when Rhule was hired. If the Panthers find themselves in position to draft Stroud or Young, another coach will probably be in place to see that through. Rhule needs to show progress this year. Mayfield can make that happen.

Aside from money, another big variable in all of this is the looming suspension for Browns quarterback, Deshaun Watson.

Cleveland traded for Watson and signed him a record-setting extension to make him the franchise quarterback going forward. That much is clear. What’s also clear, though, is that a suspension is looming for Watson. And with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel reportedly set to air interviews with several of Watson’s accusers, the lingering suspension becomes even more prevalent.

Ordinarily, trading Mayfield would be a given. But given the many moving parts to this, Mayfield not only staying in Cleveland but playing for the Browns does linger as a possibility, albeit an awkward one.

[The Athletic NFL, Pro Football Talk]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. He is Bay Area native living in the Indianapolis area. Michael is also a big nerd when it comes to sports history and to a slightly lesser extent, all history. Beyond that, loves tacos, pizza and random Seinfeld quotes.

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